Washington (CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she told President Donald Trump that he's in her wheelhouse when he attacks the whistleblower, whose complaint initially prompted the House impeachment inquiry of the President.
Pelosi said: "This is really important, especially when it comes to intelligence, that someone who would be courageous enough to point out truth to power and then through the filter of a Trump appointed inspector general who found it of urgent concern and ... then took it to the next steps."
Pelosi said Trump has "every opportunity to present his case" before Congress, and could "take the oath of office or he could do it in writing."
The House Speaker said Trump's actions are "so much worse" than those of former President Richard Nixon, who faced impeachment amid the Watergate scandal but resigned before the House of Representatives could take a vote.
"But it's really a sad thing," Pelosi continued. "I mean, what the President did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue."
The whistleblower's complaint alleges Trump abused his official powers "to solicit interference" from Ukraine in the 2020 election and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
A rough transcript released by the White House shows Trump repeatedly pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump's potential 2020 political rival, and his son Hunter Biden. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.